Meet MUT: Jamf open-source Mac Admin tool

MacAdmins, are you tired of working on repetitive, often redundant management tasks? Automation is great, but often merely simplifying processes can offer a huge boost, freeing up time to work on other more critical tasks. Enter MUT: your ally when updating device records and more in Jamf Pro.

March 20 2023 by

Jesus Vigo

Dog wearing sunglasses while looking out the window of a car

Mass Update Tool (MUT) simplifies device management for Mac admins

Anyone who has ever worked with me or read something I’ve written should be familiar with a phrase that I utter frequently: “work smarter – not harder.” While more of a personal mantra than a catchphrase, at its core it contains an ideology that I hold very near and dear to my heart, as well as one that continues to play a central and pivotal role in my approach to work and personal life matters.

So, why am I discussing personal ideology when this blog was supposed to be about a macOS software app named MUT, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you. See, the core functionality of MUT allows MacAdmins to simplify device management to such a degree that tasks that required:

  • Hours of manual editing,
  • weeks to complete deployment projects, and
  • teams of administrators working together . . .

. . . can be effectively accomplished in fairly short order.

Whether it was at a fraction of the time projects would normally take —or only needing one or two team members to process administrative tasks— I found that MUT echoed much of the same ethos that I believed in when it came to working in a more standardized, pragmatic, efficient and simple manner.

How MacAdmins use MUT for the heavy lifting

MUT has been used by many Jamf customers, including some of the most recognizable global brands, and school districts like Chicago ISD, Dallas ISD and McKinney ISD. MUT was even used by Jamf and Apple to help Apple prepare demos for Apple’s 2018 education event in Chicago; and at JNUC 2022, Jigsaw 24 named MUT as one of the keys to success in their deployment during a global pandemic.

And that’s what we’re here to discuss today, how MacAdmins of any skillset and experience level can use MUT to perform the heavy lifting, automating a plethora of management tasks to achieve nirvana.

Okay, maybe not quite nirvana, but this critical app should be a part of every MacAdmin’s toolkit. With it, admins can significantly reduce time spent on administrative overhead tasks that ensure devices are managed properly.

What is MUT?

Developed by Mike Levenick and, in his own words:

“The MUT is a native macOS application written in Swift, which allows Jamf admins to make mass updates to attributes(such as username, asset tag, or extension attribute) of their devices and users in Jamf. Admins can also make mass changes to static groups, and the scope of prestage enrollments via MUT.”

MUT is open source and recently found a new home in the official Jamf GitHub repository. MUT works in conjunction with your Jamf Pro instance, providing a GUI that securely communicates changes in the form of updates to the device records that pertain to your managed devices, contained within Jamf Pro.

What does MUT do?

As mentioned previously, MUT saves Jamf admins time by providing a powerful yet easy-to-use interface. Some examples of what admins can achieve with MUT are:

  • Make mass changes to the device and user attribute values
  • Modify scoping of prestage enrollments for deployments
  • Perform updates to the objects contained in static groups

For those new to MUT or Apple administration who would like to test MUT, the oh-so-useful Read Me should be your first stop before tinkering with your new toy.

We know that you may be anxious to start reducing the various headaches associated with the management of hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of mobile devices in your Apple fleet.

But as the wise Stan Lee once said, “With great power, there must also come – great responsibility!

You may be thinking, “Ok, but how does it save MacAdmins time?” Luckily, Levenick has made a video that serves as an introduction to what MUT is and provides a demo of how it works in real-time. Also, it takes you on a quick tour of some of the new features in the current version of MUT.

“Thank the Maker!”

Designed initially as “the unofficial, all-in-one mass update tool designed to be the perfect companion to Jamf admins,” developer Mike Levenick is also a Jamf employee and frequent contributor to Jamf Nation.

As part of the JNUC presentation, “I wrote The MUT, and you can too!”, Levenick discussed his journey in creating MUT as well as some of the drivers behind creating the valuable tool – and the struggles (and resources to overcome obstacles) encountered along the way.

When asked about MUT’s new “fur-ever” home at Jamf, his continued development of the tool and what he envisions as the future for MUT, Levenick had this to share, "MUT has always been a learning project for me. I had very little programming experience when I first started working on MUT, but I managed – through a combination of stubbornness, luck, and asking the right people for help – to cobble together an application that has improved the lives of tens of thousands of Jamf admins.

There is nothing more exciting to me than hearing from an admin or customer about how MUT inspired them to write an app or script to improve their daily lives or the lives of those around them. My hope for MUT is that it not only continues to help admins succeed with Apple (and Jamf) but also that it may inspire others to dig in and help improve the community either by getting involved in an existing project like MUT or by creating something unprecedented and amazing."

Fancy giving The MUT a try?

Find it in the Mac App Store.

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